Syrian tanks shelled Hama, the scene of a 1982 massacre, for a second day on Monday, killing at least four civilians, in an assault to try to crush protests against President Bashar al-Assad.
The killings in Hamidiyah district brought to 84 the number of civilians reported killed in a tank-backed crackdown on the central Syrian city, where Assad's father crushed an armed Muslim Brotherhood revolt 29 years ago by razing neighbourhoods and killing many thousands of people.
"No one can leave the town because the troops and shabbiha (pro-Assad militia) are shooting at random with machineguns," a resident said on phone.
Residents said among those killed on Monday was Khaled Adel al-Sheikh Mossa, whose house was hit in early morning shelling. A roof of another house collapsed and a pharmacy was destroyed. A doctor said a youth died after being shot in the chest.
Syrian tanks also stormed the eastern town of Albu Kamal after a two-week siege, activists in the region said, as the military steps up assaults aimed at subduing dissent in the tribal Deir al-Zor province bordering Iraq's Sunni heartland.
Egyptian troops clash with protesters in Cairo
Troops clashed with protesters camping out at a central Cairo square as military police move in to dismantle their tents.
Several hundred hard-core protesters had camped out at the square since July 8 to press demands for faster change and for Hosni Mubarak loyalists to be weeded out from key state institutions.
They also want the former leader to be brought to trial to face charges they ordered the use of deadly force against protesters during the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak's regime in February.